Food Detox:
Lower Your Exposure!

"Food Detox"...

chemical barrels waste

...most people go on a fast when they want to "detox." Then, after a few days or a week, they go back to eating the same old foods (sometimes in reduced portion sizes).

Doesn't it make more sense to consistently avoid toxins so that you don't develop an excess burden that you feel you have to somehow undo? Wouldn't that be the essence of healthy eating?

To my mind, detox should mean reducing your intake of chemicals on a regular basis. What you do over the long run is more significant and has a greater impact on your health than what you might do for a few days or weeks per year.

This page will probably scare you

Don't let it.

Instead, think of it as a step toward increasing your awareness about where harmful chemicals are hiding in your food. Then take steps to adapt.

Sure, the food we eat isn't perfectly pure. Neither is the water we drink, nor the air we breathe. That doesn't mean we should give up eating, drinking and breathing!

Sure, it would be nice to eliminate all toxins from your diet, but it would also be impossible. The best we can do (and the most we can expect of ourselves) is to reduce our toxic load by minimizing exposure to as many chemicals as possible.

The easiest food detox can be achieved by eating lower on the food chain, i.e. more fruits and vegetables and less meat. But if you want to take it one step further... on and increase your awareness.

Food Detox: Know What You Are Eating

Conventionally Raised Beef Contains:

  • Antibiotic residues (used, interestingly, to increase growth)
  • Hormones used to increase growth
  • Herbicides and pesticides from the animal feed

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Limit your consumption of conventionally raised beef and/or buy organic beef which is fed 100% organic feed and given no antibiotics or growth hormone. And if you want to go even one step further... "grass fed" or "pasture fed" beef. Cows are meant to eat grass, not grain (corn), which is what they are fed when conventionally raised in order to fatten them up more quickly!

Conventionally Raised Poultry and Eggs Contain:

  • Antibiotic residues
  • Herbicides and pesticides from feed

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Limit your intake of conventional poultry and eggs and/or buy organic poultry and eggs which are fed 100% organic feed and given no antibiotics.

Conventionally Raised Pork Contains:

  • Antibiotic residues
  • Herbicides and pesticides from feed
  • Nitrates and nitrites (which are linked to stomach cancer)

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Limit your consumption of conventionally raised pork and/or buy organic.

Conventionally Produced Dairy Products Contain:

  • Antibiotic residues
  • Herbicides and pesticides from feed
  • Hormones used to increase milk production

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Limit your consumption of conventional dairy products if they contain fat. Don't worry so much about fat free varieties. (The hormones and antibiotics are concentrated in the fat.) That means non-organic skim milk if fine if you don't want to spend the extra on organic, but choose organic cheese if it's not fat free.

Fish (whether wild-caught or farmed) Contains:

  • Mercury, a heavy metal
  • PCP, a carcinogen
  • DDT, a carcinogen
  • Antibiotic residues (if farm raised)
  • AND...many species are overfished and/or harvested by environmentally harmful fishing methods.

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Despite the contaminants listed above, eat fish regularly. The benefits far outweigh the risks, so long as you choose wisely. Choose low mercury fish.

And download a wallet card from Monterey Bay Aquarium to find fish that are caught in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Conventionally Grown Produce Contains:

Eat Food...Not Chemicals!

Looking for other ways
to lighten your toxic load?

Avoid mercury in fish
Consider organics when possible
Use this organic produce priority list
Improve Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio
Steer clear of food additives
Limit processed foods
Drink clean water
Know where toxins hide
Don't let label claims mislead you
Top 10 detox foods
Be scared of Frankenfoods!
  • Herbicides and pesticides
  • Xenoestrogens (man-made chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen. This can cause disruption in hormone and endocrine systems, presenting a potential health hazard)

Food Detox: My Professional Advice

Eat your fruits and vegetables! Buy organic varieties when possible, but use the organic priority list if you can't or don't want to buy all organic produce.

Limiting exposure to toxins from the food supply is possible by making educated food choices. Awareness is the first step toward change. I hope this information has heightened your awareness.

More on healthy eating.

Your Personal Nutrition Guide home.